In the United States alone, an estimated 5.4 million people have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. Sadly, this already high number is only going to get higher, which means that more people may need to consider Alzheimer’s care options for a senior loved one.
The types/settings of Alzheimer’s facilities available are quite varied. Some senior living communities offer Alzheimer’s care in a separate wing of the building; other Alzheimer’s care facilities are stand-alone; still others may provide supportive services throughout their senior living community for those in the early stages of the disease.
Just as the types of Alzheimer’s facilities are varied, so are the names for this specialized segment of senior housing. Memory neighborhoods, special care units, secured dementia wing, Alzheimer’s assisted living – the list continues. A number of senior living providers have also developed their own unique name for their Alzheimer’s care community, a name which also typically encompasses the provider’s philosophy of what comprises superior Alzheimer’s care as well as special programming (also tied in with the community’s care philosophy) that is integrated within the care unit.
Most Alzheimer’s care communities are smaller in size/scope, with a higher staff ratio to best meet the complex and ever-changing needs of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. Many units are secured and are expressly designed to prevent elopement. Activities and daily tasks are well-organized in most Alzheimer’s care facilities to encourage consistency and foster a routine; this structure helps those dealing with the chaos and confusion of this devastating disease to feel some sense of security and comfort.
- Michelle Seitzer